that companies hired more workers in october than at any time in the last eight months. ( applause ) >> brown: and the trend line seemed promising, as well. since july, the economy has added an average of 173,000 jobs per month, up from just 67,000 a month in the spring. at the same time, though, the unemployment rate ticked up a tenth of a point in october to 7.9% as more people began looking for work again. in west allis, wisconsin, the president's republican challenger, mitt romney, focused on that number, insisting again, "we can do better." >> he said he was going to lower the unemployment rate down to 5.2% right now, and today we learn it's actually 7.9%, and that's nine million jobs short of what he promised. unemployment is higher today than when barack obama took office. >> brown: what's more, romney warned, sticking with the president's economic policies will guarantee gridlock and worse. >> unless we change course, we may be looking at another recession.